The Antique Motorcycle Club of America Bi-monthly Newsletter
December Newsletter 2017
At the bottom of the document make sure to Click "View Entire Message"
Yankee Chapter National Meet Road Ride
Chapter participation is mission number one of this newsletter. Two-thirds of AMCA members are not members of a chapter. For numerous reasons but one is that there is not a chapter in their area. Most feel a chapter needs to be within 60 miles for their participation.
As you will see in the next issue of The Antique Motorcycle, a new pilot program will ensue next month to assist existing chapters the ability to expand to help fill in some of the black holes on the map. More to come.
If you are looking for a new AMCA Chapter in your area? If you don't see on one on the
AMCA Chapter Map, make sure to click on the "Read More" link below to see a list of all the new areas of the country in the process of starting a chapter.
We've listed the forming chapter's contact information. Let them know you are interested in being a member of their chapter and get involved.
So the rider can find them easily after they fall off. Ha! The joke is rooted in some truth, though. Many old bikes (not just H-Ds) have engines that are rigidly mounted to the frames, rudimentary suspensions, and fasteners that have worn with the wear and tear that comes with years of happy riding. Some of us to pull the occasional U-turn to find a part that has been separated from its motorcycle.
Because the problem of keeping parts where they belong spreads far beyond motorcycling, there are some innovations from some other fields that can be adapted to two-wheel use. It should be noted that before you use any of these items that you check that your fasteners are correct for the application and in good shape.
Have you always dreamed of owning, or restoring an antique or vintage motorcycle? If so, you might find that the one you've been searching for may be one that is located hundreds of miles away from your home. As more people begin to sell on websites such as eBay and other sites that allow people to buy, sell and even trade merchandise including antique motorcycles and cars, it becomes easier for those in search of the motorcycle of their dreams to find the one they always wanted. These antique motorcycles are a great way to not only own a piece of history, but also to bring back some great childhood memories.
When the seller is in a different city or state, buyers must figure out how they're going to get the motorcycle home.
The first step to bringing your new to you, antique gem of a bike home is to find a reliable company to safely deliver it. A quick internet search is often all one needs to do today to find the right company. The thing to keep in mind during a search however, is to know what to look for when you find various transporters who say they ship motorcycles across the states or even internationally. A company like A1 Auto Transport will be able to help guide you through the shipping process for antique motorcycles and can offer insight to keeping the bike safe during shipment.
In 1977, when I traded a 1932 and a 1934 B.S.A. three wheeler for a 1930 Morgan three wheeler, I had only a vague idea what an historic racing machine it was. I knew that Morgan trikes had been racing on the track since 1910. They were also campaigned at hill climbs and rallies while H.F.S. Morgan used them to good advantage in obtaining orders for his new vehicles since they were winning at most events.
1934 LCC Relay Race at Brooklands. left to right - Tom Rhodes (in car) H.F.S. Morgan in suit and tie, Henry & Richard Laird in Red, George Goodall (from Morgan Factory), Tom Rhodes (in car). The Morgan Factory Team.
I began researching my newly-acquired Morgan, then equipped with a J.A.P. V-twin KTOR (Brough-Superior sprint motor), and discovered that it had raced at Brooklands, Donington Park, and several other British venues against both motorcycles and light cars. It was a cycle-car, so it could compete in both categories.
From one woman to another, if you have not been to an Antique Motorcycle Swap Meet, you need to add it to your bucket list. I have been going for 11 years now; and yes you have to be willing to camp, willing to put up with the rain, the cold, the hot sun, dirt, rusty and crusty parts, and the old fossils selling them.
You have to get use to being waited on by grey haired, mostly bearded old men. Yes ladies I said waited on. With names like BBQ Bob, Cookie, or Gumbo Joe no cooking by the gals required. Some of the best food coming off the grills with the aroma to match come out of these swap meets.
You have to get use to meeting some of the most colorful people on the face of the planet. Need a water, or a beverage of any type, as you walk through and enjoy the artistry of these old motorcycles, all you need to do is just look on the hoods of trucks or the tops of folding tables and stir up interest in the bides. These folks are more than willing to share their stories and offer you whatever is available. They are so happy to educate you on the difference between a JD, a Flathead, Panhead or Shovelhead motor. They also still somewhat enjoy the camaraderie between Harleys and Indians. You will see motorcycles you have most likely never heard of such as Henderson, Crocker, Merkel, Whizzer, Emerson, or an Ace.
It is always fun to see the old faces, they are the most generous, fun loving people I know. We bring our dogs and the kids without fear of allowing them to play freely.
This section is a feature section for AMCA member motorcycles or stories. If you would like to have your bike featured, please submit up to four photos and information about your bike and yourself to AMCA Executive Director, Keith Kizer.
Want more information? Visit our website for more Chapter information or check out the Forum to see the latest discussions on topics that are pinpointed to your interest.
Local Chapters are the ones who bring camaraderie to enjoying the sport you love. If you are not a member of your local chapter, please look them up and visit their next meeting or event. You can find them in the block above by clicking on the Chapter Link which takes you to the map. Click on the state of choice then on one or more of the bubbles in that state. Once you click on the bubble, scroll down to the information for that club. Most have a website link, but if not, click the email link and ask for details of their Chapter.
For those who dedicate their time as Chapter officers, directors or volunteers please send me your Chapter Events so I can include it in the next newsletter.
We will include your local events with links back to the "Chapter Event" pages of the main AMCA website. If you have Chapter logos, Upcoming Event logos, artwork, or photos, please include those too. We are here to help you promote your events to other members.
Nearly everyone knows about liquid threadlocker, but there are products beyond the familiar "red goop" and "blue goop." Did you know threadlockers come in stick and tape form, too? They tuck nicely into a tool roll, and are unable to leak like their liquid counterparts.There are also low-strength threadlockers (often purple), which are great for smaller screws and bolts that cannot withstand the high torque threadlocker can require for removal. Wicking threadlocker is a type that can be used after a fastener is assembled. (Generally green.) If you need to break the fastener loose, a little localized heat usually does the trick.
Ah, the humble cotter pin. Also known as split pins, you'll find these keeping rotating pins like your brake or throttle cable clevis pin from leaving service axially. They're also used with castellated fasteners to stop them mechanically from rotating. The most common version found in America is the extended prong style. The longer leg makes it easy to split the tines.
When selecting a cotter pin, size matters. Ideally, you'll want to use the largest diameter split pin that will fit through the hole in which the pin is inserted. Too-small pins can move, work loose, and possibly fail in servic
Note the parkerized pins_ these are useful for restorations requiring this specific finish.
e if sheared.
Diameter is not the only measure that matters, though. If the legs are too long for the diameter of the fastener (not the hole running through it), it's acceptable to trim them. (Leaving legs that are too long makes them prone to being damaged or bent by catching on things, or also wearing against other items if the cotter pin can move, as in a clevis pin. You'll also probably have a leg poke you painfully every now and again.)
Remember to push the head all the way up against the fastener when installing. In the airplane world, the legs are usually bent up over the end of the fastener. It's more common in auto and cycle applications to bend them around the circumference of the fastener. I've found both methods to work acceptably. Because cotter pins are made with very ductile metal designed to be formed easily by hand, they weaken quite a bit and shouldn't be reused.
Hairpins and locking pins
There are a few oth
Hairpins, better known as hitch pin clips or R-pins, due to their shape. Note that most of these have "legs" that are touching or nearly touching; they still are suitable to be put back into service.
er types of pins. Most of you have probably seen a hairpin (Also called R-pins, due to their appearance) in use on a trailer. These can be reused, but need to be checked often for spring tension. As a hitch-style pin is used, the "springiness" between legs can be reduced, robbing the clip of its ability to remain firmly in place.
An alternative to these is a locking pin. They do have a higher initial cost, but savings can be realized quickly because they can be reused almost indefinitely. That's part of the reason you'll often see this type of fastener used on racing motorcycles, which are disassembled frequently. These reusable locking methods save time and money.
A locking pin in use on a vintage race bike.
The downside to each of these styles, of course, is that they don't look particularly traditional. They'll be perfect for a rider, but for those of you trying for that Junior or Senior award, you'll want to avoid them. Since Winners' Circle bikes can be changed a bit, though, it might make sense to swap these onto your pride and joy so you can get out there and ride with some peace of mind.
Another method of securing items stems from the aircraft industry. Heavily used in motorcycle racing, safety wire can be used in a really wide variety of applications. (Pins, nut, bolt heads, grips, bolt threads, tabs, hoses, oil filters, exhaust pipe wrap, or anchoring to stationary parts, to name a few.)
Tossed in a tool roll, wire can be used for all sorts of impromptu repairs. Safety wire's appearance is usually not very "historic", but if you plan on racing your old machine, it will be required by some sanctioning bodies.
One of the upsides to the appearance of safety wire is the positive visual confirmation that a fastener has been tightened and locked in place. I know I'm sometimes remiss in doing a general fastener check-over, and the speed with which I can check over safety wired parts means I check things more often. Those checks help mitigate disaster to some degree or another.
Safety wire has a few downsides. Almost all parts will need to be permanently modified (drilled) to accept the wire. There's a bit of a learning curve to understanding how to wire properly.
Wire can be installed by hand in a jiffy, but safety wire pliers or an installation tool known as a pignose is almost a requirement, especially if you're going to use a lot of it. Also, if wire is not bent over correctly, occasional impalement is also a near-certainty, as anyone who has wired a race bike can tell you!
Nyloc nuts and oval locknuts
The nylon insert on these locking nuts is clearly visible. The non-insert end should be started first, as it's difficult or impossible to start threading the insert end.
Both of these types of nut use fastener deformation to achieve a positive lock on a bolt. Nyloc nuts contain a nylon insert at one end that "grabs" the threads as it is snugged up. Oval nuts are "squished" on one end and are forced into a round shape by the bolt threads and body as they pass through the nut. The resulting friction helps the nut maintain its hold on the bolt body.
Most of us have reused a nyloc nut from time to time, but there is disagreement on whether it's safe to do so. The issue is whether the nylon is deforming elastically over the threads of the screw, or if the screw is permanently displacing material ("cutting threads") into the nylon. Oval lock nuts (often called "one-way" nuts), increase friction on the bolt through deformation that is agreed upon to be elastic in nature, so most find it acceptable to reuse this style of fastener. Unlike some of the other methods mentioned, oval nuts in particular are nearly impossible to identify from a standard fastener, so they're a good candidate for restorations.
There are plenty of other items I didn't cover, of course. Dzus ("quarter-turn") fasteners, the locking tabs those of you who build Harley four-speeds are intimately familiar with, and Stage 8 locking fasteners for Shovelhead exhausts are all examples that deserve a mention. You'll find plenty more if you research a bit. And you should think about proactively keeping something from falling off your bike. That nifty trinket you got at the last swap probably cost more than any of these items.
If you would like to contribute to the Restoration Tips section, please contact AMCA Executive Director, Keith Kizer.
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If your company would like to offer a discount to the ever growing AMCA membership, please contact AMCA Executive Director, Keith Kizer. Your company logo will be added to future Newsletters and the AMCA website's Sponsor's Page.
Here are a few things to consider when you need quick, but reliable service for your motorcycle:
Quote: Getting a quote is easy, and many company websites will offer numerous quotes to allow customers to choose the rate they like best. When it comes to a quote for moving an antique motorcycle, it's important to see what the quote includes, if it is all-inclusive and whether the company has experience with shipping antique motorcycles. A good price is always welcome, but it's best to stick with companies offering mid-range rates rather than those offering super low rates. Lower than normal rates often signal a company that will add extra cost on once the shipment has been booked and they have your authorization to charge a credit or debit card for the fee. Mid-range rates usually signify a company that is in direct competition with others and wants to provide great service with a price that is competitive with others in the industry. Higher rates don't always mean better service, so be sure to compare services offered with the rates you are given.
Quality: It's important that antique motorcycles are handled with care during shipment. These motorcycles are valuable and since parts may not be so easy to locate, you need to make sure the company you hire is going to take care of the bike from start to finish. Check reviews online by searching the company name on transport review websites or even with the Better Business Bureau. If you see a negative review, be sure to see if the company followed up on it. As with many other businesses, customers will often complain even if a complaint is not warranted so it's important to read the reviews to see if someone truly has a valid complaint or if they are just posting out of spite because something did not go the way they wanted it to go.
Insurance: All companies that transport motorcycles and other motor vehicles are required by the US Department of Transportation to carry valid insurance coverage for the motorcycles and vehicles they transport. You can ask the company upfront for their coverage proof or you can contact the
FMCSA to inquire about coverage validity as well as driving and accident records and licensing information. If the coverage offered by the company requires a deductible to be paid by the motorcycle owner or it is not enough to cover the bike, it is best to speak to a private insurer to make sure adequate coverage is on the bike before it ships out.
Open and Enclosed Shipping Options
You will need to let the transporter know if you want open or enclosed shipping. Open shipping is often the quickest way to ship as well as the less expensive mode of transport. For newer motorcycles, this may be a perfect solution to moving a bike. For antique bikes that are 35+ years old or even vintage motorcycles that are 25 or more years old, it is usually best to try to ship with enclosed services when possible and if it is within your shipping budget. Enclosed shipping helps prevent vandalism, theft and damage during shipment that could possibly occur during open shipment where the motorcycle will be fully exposed to the elements.
Door to Door or Terminal?
You will most likely be offered door to door shipping services when you have your motorcycle shipped. This means the driver will make every attempt possible to deliver as closely to your physical address as possible. It does not always mean the truck can come right to your home or office however as there may be city ordinances restricting heavy trucks from residential streets, or the street may not be large enough to access the large carrier. Plans will be made in advance when possible to deliver to a location nearby that has a large parking lot where the truck can easily navigate pulling over and turning around.
Terminals are another option, and using them can often save the owner a little cash on transport. You should know that terminals are often located outside of town and you may need to travel a great distance to reach the one nearest you. They may also not have physical security and can be prone to vandalism or theft. If you prefer to use a terminal, it is best to check it out ahead of time to make sure your motorcycle will be safe while on the premises awaiting pickup or delivery.
Get the Motorcycle Ready
Once you have determined the best company to relocate your antique motorcycle, you will need to get it ready for shipment. Preparing the motorcycle will help ensure it is safe and sound as it is moved from one place to another, and with antiques, this is important. Here are a few things to do to get your motorcycle ready for shipping:
Clean the bike from top to bottom to remove all dirt, dust and grime.
Remove saddlebags and other removable accessories.
Fold in mirrors to prevent them from being hit or broken.
Deactivate the alarm if one is installed on the motorcycle.
Check the tires, brakes and battery to make sure all are in good condition and working properly.
When loading the motorcycle, it needs to be in neutral.
Get a spare key for the driver and keep one of your own to ensure you will have one ready when the motorcycle is delivered.
Take detailed photos from all areas of the motorcycle and keep them filed away until delivery.
If the motorcycle is shipping inside a crate, the fuel should be drained and the battery needs to be disconnected unless the company tells you otherwise. For overseas shipments, this is a must and will need to be taken care of before the bike is crated.
When the motorcycle is delivered, be sure to do a complete physical inspection to check for signs of damage. You will be happy to know that less than 3% of all motor vehicles transported worldwide (including antique motorcycles) are ever damaged during shipment. The driver will contact you, usually within 24 hours of the delivery, to arrange to meet you to drop the motorcycle off. Once it arrives, the driver will complete and inspection with you and then you will sign the Bill of Lading and your antique motorcycle will be released to you.
It may seem like a daunting task to have an antique motorcycle shipped, but when you work with a reliable company, it can be handled easily. The most important thing to consider is to make sure the company has ample experience shipping motorcycles, and a proven track record for safe transport.
If your company would like to offer a discount to the ever growing AMCA membership, please contact AMCA Executive Director, Keith Kizer. Your company logo will be added to future Newsletters and the AMCA website's Sponsor's Page.
During the 1930s, driver Henry Laird, and his brother, Richard, entered this trike in several events with solo motorcycles where the entries were push-started before the riders jumped aboard. This was quite a challenge with a three-wheeler! But survive they did, and captured their share of racing wins at Donington Park in the 10 lap passenger races for three wheelers and motorcycles with sidecars.
Donington Park on 4 August 1936. Henry and Richard push starting Red at the start of the 25-mile race for motorcycles and three-wheelers.
Another example of success at Donington happened in April 1935 by winning a 1st place during the 10 lap passenger race for three wheelers and motorcycle combinations and setting a new 56.05 MPH 10 lap record.
When racing during the 1930s, the Morgan, named "Johnnie Red" (later shortened to just Red) by its owner, used a big J.A.P. JTOR of 1084 cc producing around 50-55 BHP. When fitted with an MG type Q4 Zoller compressor with an 18 pound boost several more HP was produced. The Zoller served Laird well in 1935 when he captured the World's Records at Brooklands for piston-driven three wheelers with 72.568 MPH for the standing start kilometer, and 81.568 MPH for the standing start mile. This JTOR is the same motor used for racing today with its baronia bronze heads and cases. It's a wonder that it survived, but that's another story.
The Zoller compressor attached to the J.A.P. JTOR Amal TT carb and long induction tube.
The Zoller compressor (supercharger) was installed when Red was returned to the Morgan Factory in 1936 and the cowl was modified into a streamlined slope that ended behind the motor. This streamlined cowl is the only one fitted to a Morgan. Two angle irons were welded across the upper chassis tubes and formed a platform for the Zoller installation. In this position, the large Amal TT carburetor was in a warmer environment and breathed cleaner air. Previously, the Zoller was installed near the left front wheel close to the ground allowing dust, etc. to be ingested. The Zoller was driven by chains and sprockets off the flywheel.
During 1933-35, the Morgan Motor Company sponsored three Morgan trikes in the Light Car Club relay races at Brooklands. The Morgans were driven by Clive Lones, Tom Rhodes, and Henry Laird in Red. In 1933, the Morgan team was disqualified for not keeping to the race boundaries while averaging 89.01 MPH but improved that number in 1934 with a 90.91 MPH average and placed second behind the Austin team. In 1935, they were closing in on averaging 94 MPH but retired with mechanical problems.
On 10 October 1936, Laird raced Red in the Hutchinson 100 at Brooklands, 37 laps of the outer circuit. During three of those laps, Red clocked a speed of 100.61 MPH, thereby
The Brooklands Gold Star, won with Red on 10 October 1936 for lapping the outer circuit at Brooklands at over 100 MPH.
earning a Brooklands Gold Star, one of only four that were ever awarded to Morgans.
During the 1930-1937 years, Henry Laird raced Red in 25 track events in England. Tom Bryant took over the reins in 1939 and again from 1949-51, racing in 5 events. Not much was heard about Red until 1955 when Red was advertised for sale by Huxhams, Ltd. and Tom Bryant. Hugh Dyer bought it in 1961, and proceeded to blow out the lower end of the JTOR. Sometime thereafter, the chassis was fitted with a KTOR motor and advertised for sale by Mercury Motors in England in 1961. Paul
Moyer, in the U.S. purchased it, but did no restoration work. Red was purchased by Vic Hyde in 1967 and restored to a degree, and he had the motor overhauled. That turned out to be a botched job. I obtained Red in 1977 in a non-running state.
In my possession, I stripped the trike to its bare chassis, refurbished it, and gave the KTOR motor to a motorcycle friend to check over. I first raced Red in 1984 at Laguna Seca when a cam loosened, stopping the motor. This was another botched effort by not properly assembling the motor. The motor was tweaked and ran, but racing was delayed until 1996 after I had the original JTOR motor with its bronze cases and heads restored in England by another Morgan enthusiast.
From 1996 through 2017, I have competed Red in 66 events, racing at Sonoma Raceway, Laguna Seca, Buttonwillow, Lime Rock, Watkins Glen, Road America, Willow Springs, Thunder Hill, Circuit of the Americas, and Coronado. These experiences have been hair-raising, exciting, and most rewarding on several levels, both emotional and physical. With a hand throttle on the steering wheel, it seems to require three hands to manipulate three wheels through the turns.
Perhaps the most wonderful thing about acquiring this famous Brooklands trike is the fact that it came with racing lap results and technical aspects penned by Barbara Laird, Henry Laird's wife, and sometimes racing passenger. The Brooklands Gold Star and a bundle of period black and white photos taken during its many track appearances live on in my files.
This information inspired me to research the full background of Red since it left the Morgan Factory and has always been a racing machine. I felt compelled to document its history. My book, "A Morgan Called Red, Brooklands to Laguna Seca" covers Red's full
Donna Dell_Ario and Larry Ayers at Laguna Seca with Red_ present day racing.
racing career, lists all the events it has ever entered, and contains many of its technical aspects and preparations, as well as the results of its campaigns. The book is available, with my autograph if desired, for $20 plus P&H. Contact me at RedMorganRacing@earthlink.net or try Amazon and others. Enjoy reading about the history of Morgan racing. You might also go to U-Tube and select "Morgan three wheel racing" especially at Cadwell Park or Silverstone and other British tracks for video of Morgan trikes racing today.
As a side note, it should be mentioned that Henry Laird also drove another Morgan called Yellow, in rallies with noted success. J.A.P. motors were swapped back and forth between Red and Yellow on several occasions.
If you wish to see a Morgan trike racing in the U.S. venture out to Buttonwillow in May, Sonoma in June, Laguna Seca in August, Lime Rock in September, or arm-chair-it on the internet. For additional Morgan information, join the Morgan Three Wheeler Club in England, and receive their monthly "The Bulletin." Morgan trikes continue to race in England, Europe, Australia, and the United States.
The 1930 Morgan racer, Red, along with the 2013 Morgan Racer, Poppion.
By the way, I'm also racing a "modern" 2013 Morgan 5 speed trike with an S&S motor, using it for the first time in May 2017 at Buttonwillow. If you have a Morgan trike, either vintage or modern, come out and join us next May with VARA at Buttonwillow. Put your trike on the track or just socialize with a static display. Be safe and have fun!
These meets are filled with the smells of campfires, the sounds of laughter and music, and lets not forget through all the tranquility, the sounds of these old bikes; motors racing, tail pipes, and the cheers of the proud men that have restored them. Lets not feel left out ladies, there are riding boots, jackets and chaps, the occasional jewelry, purses and/or bobble for sale to keep us looking as well.
The judging is one of my favorite parts.
Not only do you get to enjoy the artistry that went into the building of these machines, but the butts aren't bad either. These judges crawl all over these antique bikes, picking out their flaws and grading them on originality, rareness and operation. Some of the finest butt shots on earth can be obtained while the judging is underway. Even better when the guys are digging for that one nut or bolt they need to finish that project, heads are down and butts are up.
These guys are so willing to allow you to sit on there bikes, and get the feel of these wonderful machines, and offer the occasional ride; but be careful ladies, once you get that wind in your hair, feel the sun on your body, and the openness that can only be experienced on a motorcycle, you will be bit by the bug.
The Chesapeake Chapter meet at White Rose in Jefferson, PA is held this year on the last weekend of September offered us one of the most, colorful ladies I've ever met. Sarah Summers on her 1938 Flathead Trike, who was attending for the first time. She entertained most of the vendors and campers with her amazing voice, and lyrics to songs she had written. Sara kept us amused with her comical words and monotone to her song
"FOR THE LOVE OF STINK BUGS." She sang folk, soul, jazz and blues; knew all the words and hit all the notes, that just kept you glued to your seat and your full attention. What a blessing to meet such a God gifted individual, and so thankful to be adding her to the fold.
The PA scenery can be seen from the top of the Hill Climb, for what appears to be hundreds of miles. I was surprised that quit a few of the men who have been vending for decades hadn't been to the top of the Hill, but not a woman I asked had missed the hike to the top. If not for the scenery alone, but to take pictures of the moon, or the sun rises and sun sets. God's pallet is truly amazing. The sounds of the railroad trains echo through the valley to remind us all, that there is an outside world beyond the gates of the White Rose Motorcycle Club. So from a ladies perspective, tranquility at it's best, add a swap meet or two to that bucket list I promise you won't be disappointed. Thank you Dave Panilla, Scott English, Theresa Lundstrom (who stands in the tent all day each year at this event to sell shirts and hoodies) and to the Chesapeake Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club for hosting the White Rose Motorcycle Swap Meet every year. Thanks to the White Rose Motorcycle Club for the use of their clubhouse, and their grounds and to the kitchen help for the food, and the patience it takes to put up with us. Sorry to see the banquet did not happen this year due to lack of kitchen heap and the passing for several of the Club members.
May the wind touch your face, with wings on your backs, and God's Blessings ride my friends, be free spirited, safe and happy, until next time.